Chicken Fricassee is one of Jamaican's favorite ways to eat chicken, and it's no wonder. It's a comforting and homey dish. There are endless variations on ingredients, but the method is what really distinguishes it: you first marinade the chicken, then you fry it, and then you braise it in the marinade. It's cousin, chicken in a brown sauce, is similar - but the chicken spends less time in the frying pan and more time braising.
It's usually served with rice and peas, but I served it on its own.
Jamaican Chicken Fricassee
- 4 lbs chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1-2 Scotch Bonnet peppers (optional)
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups cooking oil
- 1 Tbsp ketchup
- 1+ cups water
Place the chicken parts in a large bowl. Add the soy sauce, tomato, onion, celery rib, garlic, green onions, pepper, thyme, brown sugar and paprika. Marinade for at least 1 hour.
Remove chicken from marinade, reserving the marinade for later. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot and working in batches, fry the chicken parts for 4 minutes per side. Remove from oil and set aside.
Drain all but 3 Tbsp of oil from the frying pan (alternatively transfer 3 Tbsp of the oil to a clean large saute pan). Return to medium heat.
Add the marinade to the pan and cook until the onions caramelize, about 5 minutes. Stir in ketchup and cook for a couple of more minutes.
Return chicken to the pot and add 1 cup of water. Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce, about 30 - 40 minutes. Add more water if the sauce dries up before the chicken finishes cooking.
Adapted from several recipes
See also: Creamy Chicken-and-Mushroom Fricassee, Cuban Fricase de Pollo.
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